DO NOT MISS

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ang Tunay Beef House: Affordable Chinese Canteen in Manila

Since food eats up most of my budget, I appreciate dining spots which offer good food but for less. And when it comes to Chinese cuisine, where else can you get a good deal but in Manila's very own Chinatown? So today, let me share with you one restaurant which already became my staple meal provider whenever I find myself in Sta. Cruz, it's a 33-year old food house along Sabino Padilla Street called Ang Tunay Beef House.
Ang Tunay Beef House in Manila

I know what you're thinking. The first time I heard of Ang Tunay Beef House, I was also wondering why it sounds barok (broken Tagalog). And while I don't really know why, other than my hypotheses (the Chinese owners aren't too keen on using Filipino conjunctions, or the signage maker was sleepy and the owners just went along with it), Ang Tunay Beef House had unsurprisingly become an institution in the area, having been established in the stretch of Sabino Padilla Street (formerly Gandara) way back in 1980.

Ang Tunay Beef House

Although the name of the restaurant suggests it's a beef house, it also proudly carries a lot of Chinese and even Filipino dishes served turo-turo style. You can also order certain items which aren't available on the turo-turo counter, but I personally like getting my food fast since I'm always coincidentally hungry whenever I run errands in Manila.

I've been to Ang Tunay Beef House countless times already. This restaurant has also been the memorable place where I first learned to eat rice using chopsticks when I was about 6 or 7 years old. So although I've eaten more interesting dishes from them during my pre-blogging years, let me still share with you the items I had during my most recent trips -- just by myself, with dad, and another with my mom and little sister.

Pork Spareribs & Meatball Soup (P110)
✓ Pork Spareribs & Meatball Soup (P110)
Evenings have often been cold and rainy these past few weeks, so I first had this hot bowl of Pork Spareribs & Meatball Soup which was light yet warm and comforting. It had tender and mildly-flavored ribs and juicy pieces of meatballs, as well as winter melon slices which I love, and chicken intestines which I'm not much a fan of (except if grilled).

Pandan Chicken (4-pc P70)
Pandan Chicken (P70 for 4 pieces)
We had 2 orders of the Pandan Chicken, but sorry if there are only 6 here. I think it was my little sis who already took the other pieces for herself before I even got to snap a photo. Anyway, like most pandan chicken dishes I've had, this was juicy and meaty with a light pandan note. I'm not much of a pandan chicken fan, but my sis seemed to like it.

Three Mushroom Pork (P178)
✓ Three Mushroom Pork (P80)
I'm a mushroom lover so this Three Mushroom Pork dish had me at hello. The serving has tender and meaty pork pieces along with vegetables and of course, mushrooms. There were button mushrooms, shiitake and cremini if I'm not mistaken, which are all drenched in a savory and lightly salty soy-based sauce, making this perfect with rice.

Adobo Spareribs (P178)
✓ Adobo Spareribs (P80?)
Although this Adobo Spareribs doesn't look that appealing, it's actually good taste-wise. I've always been a fan of sparerib dishes, as well as adobo dishes, so having them both in one item is a good deal for me. The spareribs were meaty and flavorful after being cooked Chinese adobo-style which is slightly sweet and savory. Yum!

Steamed Fish Fillet with Tofu (P180)
✓ Steamed Fish Fillet with Tofu (P180)
This Steamed Fish Fillet with Tofu dish has been a staple whenever I visit the restaurant. How can you blame me? The steamed fillet pieces are cooked to a soft and moist goodness, although there was one time when it was slightly overcooked. Anyhow, the fish fillets sit atop a bed of soft and silky tofu swimming in a light soy-based sauce.

Fish Fillet Guisado with Tofu (P110)
Fish Fillet Guisado with Tofu (P110)
I also got to try the Fish Fillet Guisado with Tofu which uses the same soft and moist fish fillet pieces, but stir-fried in a savory and tangy sauce. While this is actually a good dish, I'd have to be partial to the steamed rendition as its much in line with my palate and preference. Not even the fried tofu can change my mind as I also prefer its silkier brother.

Polonchay (P70)
Polonchay (P70)
For vegetables, we always get the Polonchay stir-fried with garlic. I'd usually pair this veggie item with rice since I have a slightly hard time eating it on its own as it has a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Haha! I guess you can say I'm still not a veggie-loving girl. But I think if this dish would have a drop or two more of sesame oil, I'd have no problem.

Banana Blossom (P70)
Banana Blossom (P70)
I don't know what I was thinking when I pointed this Banana Blossom dish from the turo-turo counter. I'm not even a big fan of banana blossoms to be perfectly honest. But in fairness, this veggie dish which is cooked in a savory and tangy sauce goes well with rice and meat viands. It adds a smooth and slightly crunchy texture, as well as some tangy notes. Bonus points too for having my favorite wood ear mushrooms in the mix.

Kiampeng (P27)
✓ Kiampeng (P27)
For the price and the quantity, I always, always get Kiampeng for my rice whenever I dine here. Although it's not the best kiampeng I've had, I'd say it's quite good since the rice is savory and has good amount of pork pieces, peanuts and green onions. However, for the countless times I've ordered this, there are some instances where the kiampeng is too mushy. Nevertheless though, this is still worth ordering every single time.

There are more dishes at Ang Tunay Beef House than I can ever review. However, I'm planning to try their beef soups next time (Soup #5 anyone?), 'cause as embarrassing as it sounds, I've never had any of their beef soup variants yet. Toink!

THE VERDICT

Although Ang Tunay Beef House isn't a fancy restaurant serving mean Chinese dishes, it still has remained to be one of my favorites for its affordability and food variety. Sure, I've had better steamed fish or kiampeng somewhere, but none of them were as inexpensive as what I've eaten at Ang Tunay Beef House. And even if ambiance is not as extravagant, it's decent and kept clean. I also can't commend the staff enough for being prompt in serving the dishes. Although of course, you can't expect them to all be extra friendly.

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 3/5
Service - 3.5/5
Price - 5/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Ang Tunay Beef House, Sta. Cruz
825 Sabino Padilla St., Sta. Cruz
Manila, Philippines
(02) 733-1340; 733-1340
Official Website


Business Hours:
Mondays to Saturdays 7:00AM to 9:30PM
Sundays (half day) 7:00AM to 2:00PM


38 comments :

  1. The dishes looks delicious. :) Especially the Banana blossom and Pandan Chicken! :) I haven't tried kiampeng rice. Sounds good for me to try my first kiampeng experience there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try kiampeng (savory rice) when you find a Chinese resto offering it. I'm sure you'll love it ^^

      Delete
  2. The name screams EPIC! I wanna go try it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. i want to try this one, thanks for the review, malapit lang sya samin..will invite my family!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you and your family will like Ang Tunay Beef House as much as I like it ^^

      Delete
  4. This is a family favorite! We always order here for take out pag nasa area especially for the kiampong =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. madalas kami dito kumain! Hihihi ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hala! Ano yang banana blossom? Parang inadobo? Hmmm.. ano kaya lasa? Anyway, gusto ko yong meatball soup. Parang ang sarap higupin ng sabaw.

    ReplyDelete
  7. wooow! everytime i go to divi, i want to go to classic chinatown food places there, kaso wala ako idea! this should be my first stop :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. The food looks delicious... Great review! I shall save this on my list so next time I'll visit Manila I can come here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. love the one with mushrooms and all the foods with tofu too! they looks awesome and delish! i love chinsess so much as i can eat their food without rice.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 33 years really means they have a following that kept them through this years. Somehow, the name is catchy though quite odd for a Chinese restaurant, Maybe it's what adds mystique to the place.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I want to go there! all foods looks yummy- special mention to pandan chicken and steamed fish :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow I like the look of all the food but I specially like the pandan chicken. I might as well try that next week since I'll be in manila.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I actually had the same reaction too when I first read the name of the resto. Anyhow, for a restaurant that isn't as fancy like other Chinese eateries, I feel like they're worth trying (even just basing it from your review and photos).

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am a big fan of mushroom dishes .. and now that i am here in manila ill take this opportunity to scout this resto ...drooling for the three mushroom pork .. yum yum

    ReplyDelete
  15. You know, I live in this area since childhood and I have never eaten in Ang Tunay Beef House before. The dishes are presented in a modern style huh. Great! I will add this to the list of restaurants where I will tour and bring my office mates soon in Chinatown. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those food really look delicious but I would definitely enjoy that Fish Fillet Guisado with Tofu :) I love that dish which was also offered in our dorm's cafeteria back in college :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Adobong Spareribs may not look inviting for others but I've tasted one before and just love how they cook Adobo, Chinese-style. Great post, Sumi!:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. The steamed fish fillet looks delicious! And I don't mind eating banana blossoms as my viand. It's my favorite when I eat humba.

    And you have great shots on the food! It's one reason why my eyes are glued to the picture.. :D

    ReplyDelete
  19. wow! social na sya. A familiar hang-out during my college days, my barkadas used to eat there our fave Camto and Gao-gao. The owners were so mabait and the foods are just deli. Hope to visit the place to reminisce good old days.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I once ate here with my cousins after we shop at Divisoria. We ordered Kiampeng and Pandan chicken and it's so tasty.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow! The dishes looks delicious. I want to try this one, thanks for the review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think I saw this restaurant when I went downtown. Anyway, the food looks delicious and inexpensive. I will ask DH to take me there soon.

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

    ReplyDelete
  23. OH MY GAAWDDD!! At ako'y nagutom! hahahaha :D I like their Pandan Chicken!!! Akala ko nga bibingka nung una. hihihihi :D

    ReplyDelete
  24. My friends are always talking about this place, the prices are very very affordable pala!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'll take my family here the next time we go to Sta.Cruz. I was just thinking how I could have missed this in all those years that I was regularly in the area.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's like parang kanto, lang haha! I'll try to eat here when I go to visit the Sta. Cruz Church! Thanks for the review, Sumi!

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's value for money! Really good food.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your reviews are always very informative. I'm not really a foodie because I just eat anything I find delicious haha. I'll look into this restaurant if ever I'm around that area.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The 3 mushroom pork looks fantastic. Prices are awesome too. As if it weren't long enough already, this looks to be another restaurant to add to our ever-expanding list of soon-to-try places...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Reading through makes me think a lot of people who lives and works nearby goes here to dine. I'd like to try this sometime. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Kiampeng looks very appetizing! I miss eating in Binondo. I'll try this resto soon!

    ReplyDelete
  32. i think i was able to dine here once... nakakagutom! :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've been here once before, with my in-laws. The three mushroom pork is also my personal favorite. :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. looks delicious and very affordable!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi, my first time to visit here. Manila really has food gems tucked in nondescript corners. I recently found a great fresh lumpia store in Quiapo. Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete

 
Copyright © 2014 The Purple Doll. Customized by Sumi. Designed by OddThemes